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The Last Warner Womanby Kei Miller
Synopses & Reviews
"Miller is a name to watch."—The Independent
"This is magical, lyrical, spellbinding writing."—Granta
Adamine Bustamante is born in one of Jamaica's last leper colonies. When Adamine grows up, she discovers she has the gift of "warning": the power to protect, inspire, and terrify. But when she is sent to live in England, her prophecies of impending disaster are met with a different kind of fear—people think she is insane and lock her away in a mental hospital.
Now an older woman, the spirited Adamine wants to tell her story. But she must wrestle for the truth with the mysterious "Mr. Writer Man," who has a tale of his own to share, one that will cast Adamine's life in an entirely new light. In a story about magic and migration, stories and storytelling, and the New and Old Worlds, we discover it is never one person who owns a story or has the right to tell it.
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1978, Kei Miller is the author of The Same Earth, winner of the Una Marson Prize for Literature; and Fear of Stones, which was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book. His most recent poetry collection has been shortlisted for the Jonathan Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, and the Scottish Book of the Year Award. In 2008 he was an International Writing Fellow at the University of Iowa. Miller currently divides his time between Jamaica and Scotland.
"Beautifully imaginative and structurally inventive, Miller's second novel (after The Same Earth) tells the story of Adamine Bustamante, an orphan raised in a leper colony in Spanish Town, Jamaica, whose gift of 'warning' leads her to join the Revivalist Church. When Adamine immigrates to England in search of a better life, she is locked up in a mental asylum for preaching her doomsday views. Years later, released from the institution, she meets 'Mr. Writer Man,' a young author interested in telling her story. Miller's narrative alternates between Adamine's first-person account, told in a colorful and soul-baring patois, and sections recounted, mostly in the third person, by Mr. Writer Man. The two viewpoints at times conflict in illuminating ways, but Mr. Writer Man's reflections on truth, history, and literature pale next to the plot's more immediate concerns: spirituality, violence against women, and migration, to name a few. Miller's talents as a storyteller come to the fore in the book's climactic final chapters, when previously withheld plot details are revealed, tying the book together. The challenge for the reader is to get through the opening chapters, whose leaps in time and shifts in point of view slow the story. But it's worth the effort." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The American debut of a Caribbean literary talent often compared to Orange Prize winner Andrea Levy and Alexander McCall Smith.
About the Author
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1978, Kei Miller is the author of The Same Earth, winner of the Una Marson Prize for Literature, and Fear of Stones, which was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book. His most recent poetry collection has been shortlisted for the Jonathan Llewelyn Rhys Prize, the Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, and the Scottish Book of the Year Award. In 2008, Miller was an International Writing Fellow at the University of Iowa. Miller currently divides his time between Jamaica and Scotland.
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